Windows Remote Desktop


Explore how to remotely connect to an on-campus managed Windows computers from a Mac or PC.



SFU faculty and staff are able to remotely connect to on-campus managed Windows computers by using SFU's Virtual Private Network and Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol.

This is a convenient way to:

  • Remotely log in to on-campus managed Windows computers from a Mac or PC.
  • Access software and files from office workstations.
  • Connect with other on-campus resources (such as shared-drives and printers).

Note: We recommend that undergraduate and graduate students see Remote Lab Access for a more friendly experience.


How to Connect

Step 0: Set up MFA and SFU VPN

You won't be able to use remote desktop without MFA or SFU VPN. Already have MFA and SFU VPN? Skip and proceed to Step 1.

Setup instructions:

Step 1:
Connect to SFU VPN

Sign in to SFU VPN app with your SFU computing ID and MFA code.

Step 2:
Create a Remote Desktop File

While signed in to SFU VPN, ceate a remote desktop file (.rdp) within SFU's Remote Desktop portal.

Step 3:
Open your remote desktop file while connected to SFU VPN

While signed in to SFU VPN, open your remote desktop file (.rdp).


Frequently Asked Questions about Windows Remote Desktop

I can't find my office computer in the Remote Desktop portal.
If you're unable to locate your office workstation, it may not be enrolled in SFU's Managed Windows service. These can include independent local computers purchased and used at SFU but are not centrally managed by IT Services. If you need remote access to an independent workstation, please contact your departmental IT support point.
Do I need to create a new remote desktop file for each computer I want to access?
Yes. The easiest way to find and connect to on-campus computers is to create a separate RDP file for each one you need to access.
My Apple device won't open the RDP file I downloaded. What should I do?

Apple devices (such as Macs) will need an app to run files using Microsoft's remote desktop protocol.

For SFU managed Mac devices:

If you are connecting from a device that is managed by SFU, then search for the Microsoft Remote Desktop app on your device or download it from SFU's Software Centre app on the device.

For personal Apple devices:

If you are connecting from a device that isn't managed by SFU, then we reccomend downloading Microsoft's recomended software for RDP files.



Article ID: 4334
Thu 9/1/22 6:04 PM
Wed 5/15/24 1:47 PM